New MacBook Pro could ditch Touch Bar for full-size function keys

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You got the touch. Here's how to master your MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar.
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Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Unleashed event bugApple will finally ditch the MacBook Pro’s controversial Touch Bar and replace it with a row of full-size function keys when it unveils its big refresh later today, according to a new report based on leaked schematics for the new device.

Apple first brought the Touch Bar to MacBook Pro in 2016, and despite it being a neat idea, it never really took off among power users or app developers. It seems most MacBook Pro owners try their best to ignore its existence.

So long, MacBook Pro Touch Bar

When did you last use your MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar? While a small few have gone to great lengths to adjust their workflows to take full advantage of the smaller screen, it seems the majority don’t care for it at all.

And after five years of pushing the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro users, it seems Apple is finally gearing up to let it go. Its replacement? Just a set of boring but full-size function keys — much like those still commonplace on MacBook Air.

“Apple’s new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will feature a redesigned row of function keys that replaces the Touch Bar, and each modifier key will have the same width and height as the alphanumeric keys on the rest of the keyboard,” reports MacRumors after seeing leaked schematics.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Apple plans to ditch the Touch Bar this year. Several earlier reports also hinted at the move, including one from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and another from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman — both of whom have proven reliable in the past.

Just like a Magic Keyboard

It’s also not the first time schematics of the new MacBook Pro have leaked out ahead of its official unveiling. They first appeared back in April, when hackers carried out a $50 million ransomware attack on Apple supplier Quanta Computer.

Despite hanging onto the Touch Bar for so long, Apple never expanded its reach beyond the MacBook Pro. While some may argue that’s because it was a “pro” features, other, more skeptical Apple fans might say it’s because Cupertino never really believed the Touch Bar would be a long-term success.

Will it really disappear? Find out later today when Apple unveils the next-generation MacBook Pro during its big “Unleashed” event.